Frequently Asked Questions About "Bad" Fats

Updated:Jan 3,2014

Frequently Asked Questions about "Bad" Fats

The "bad” fats are saturated and trans fats.

Saturated:  Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods.  The majority we eat come mainly from animal sources, meat and dairy (milk fat) such as fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat (tallow), lard and cream, butter, cheese, and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk.  These foods also contain cholesterol.  Many baked goods and fried foods can also contain high levels of saturated fats. Some plant foods, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil, also contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol.

TransTrans fats are found in many foods.  About 20–25 percent come from animal fat and 75–80 percent come from partially hydrogenated fat – especially in commercial baked goods (pastries, biscuits, muffins, cakes, pie crusts, doughnuts and cookies) and fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, breaded chicken nuggets and breaded fish), snack foods (popcorn, crackers), and other foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, traditional vegetable shortening or stick margarine.  (Soft margarines typically contain very low levels of trans fats.) 

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